For 31 years, I took my education for granted. It never occurred to me that my birth in the United States was the luckiest thing to ever happen to me.
I can see clearly now.
My K-12 education was an incredible gift.
Education SHOULD be free.
Education IS a human right.
Education LIFTS people out of the darkness.
Education EMPOWERS humanity.
Education CHANGES everything.
The day I woke up:
I sat in the small cabin we call our office one hot June afternoon with a family we found sleeping on the streets the night before. I sat next to Stevenson, as we worked through an intake assessment that had us both close to tears. But, we remained diligent in making sure that we had the whole truth, and the entire story.
Stevenson looked at me and in English said: "Tausha, we've never had a family like this before..." That day, we learned this humble and tired mother of five had recently lost her husband. He was killed. Intentionally. After paying for his funeral, she was left with nothing.
Then, she made the most selfless decision a mother could. With her last $600s, she chose to pay the balance of her children's tuition for the year, instead of her rent. For two months she worked tirelessly to come up with the money she needed.
Then one day, the landlord threw all of their things out unto the street and locked the doors. Three months later, we found five children wrapped in plastic on a sidewalk. Children who had school in the morning.
That night I asked her if ANYONE had done ANYTHING to help her before me... Her answer will haunt me forever.
She said "Only Jesus, and now you."
In our hot office during intake the following afternoon, she offered praise to our creator; giving thanks for her children's grades. Although they were homeless, they all did well. And that was her proof that Jesus had been helping her all along.
This mama didn't need the Footprints poem hanging in her bathroom to know God was holding her. She didn't even need a bathroom to know that. God told her to educate her brilliant children, and she obeyed. She lived on the streets with five kids for three months- so they could learn their ABCs.
For 31 years I took my education for granted... I can see clearly now. My K-12 education was an incredible gift. I'm honored now to offer this gift to as many children we can through Haiti Mama.